The Joys of Joyriding

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The recent theft of a large turboprop airliner and the ensuing crash and apparent suicide by the “pilot” got me thinking about joyriding, or in his case, joyflying and joykamikazeing. I had nothing on that dude for sure. When I was 15 years old, one of my buddies and I “borrowed” a little-old old Datsun pickup truck from his uncle’s used car lot and drove it around the west side of town like mad. It spewed out large amounts of smoke which got more copious with each passing minute (to our great delight!) until something exploded (I think it was the oil pan) and our joyride came to a smoky, shrapnel-spraying and abrupt end. Luckily for both of us, my friend’s cousin got us and the truck back to the lot, and the uncle never knew about our little excursion. Probably good for us; we also occasionally used his lot as a “chop shop” for stolen bikes and other ill-gotten booty. Fucking kids.

 

Joyriding is part of growing up to many people, and although most of them are harmless, often they are not. Joyriding often results in the snuffing out of young lives, many of which showed some promise. People are often intoxicated, which obviously doesn’t help things. However, whether one is wasted on something or not, some joyriders have to take that extra step, to go that extra mile, to just say “FUCK IT!!!” Anyway, here’s a little list of my favorite joyriders and others who went on vehicular rampages not related to terrorism:

 

1982 – Mannheim, Germany – A drunken GI stole an M60 tank and drove it through the city, crushing numerous cars and a train before driving the tank onto a bridge. He then apparently got into the gunner’s position and started to rotate the turret and move the gun up and down, further menacing the locals before managing to drive the tank into a river, where he drowned. As Mannheim was home to a U.S. military prison, had he survived, he wouldn’t have gone very far.

 

1984 – Nevada – While inspecting a top-secret USAF unit that flew captured Soviet and other foreign aircraft, Lieutenant General Robert Bond impulsively decided to test-fly a MiG-23 fighter. Despite urgent warnings from the pilots that had already flown it that the MiG-23 was a very tricky and quirky aircraft that required extensive orientation, General Bond essentially pulled his rank, was strapped into the jet, and took off. As the pilots had feared, the general lost control of the MiG and tried to eject when it was at supersonic speed, snapping his neck and killing him instantly. The high-profile death of such a high-ranking officer blew the cover of the outfit.

 

1986 – Southern California – A junior enlisted USMC aircraft mechanic “borrowed” an A-4 Skyhawk attack bomber from a military air base and flew it around for about an hour or so, performing aerobatics and generally having a good time before bringing the plane back. Amazingly enough, the joyflying jarhead got off with only several months in prison. As the pilot supposedly befriended a retired USMC general, once again, it’s good to have friends in high places.

 

1995 – San Diego, California – Another mad tanker strikes again! This dude, who had a Blood Alcohol Level into healthy double digits, stole an M60 tank from a military base (as if one would find fully-fueled and operational tanks anywhere else) and went on a rampage, running over and smashing anything and everything in his way. He even tried to knock down a pedestrian bridge over a freeway before giving up. After being pursued down the freeway, the drunken, Dumb-Ass Tanker (DATs, as they are called in the Army) tried to go over into the other side of the freeway, apparently hoping to smash more cars. Unfortunately for him, the tank got stuck on the wall that separated the opposing freeways, giving police the opportunity to stop him. Apparently, a cop who was also a former tanker knew how to get in the battle-locked tank, where he shot the man dead.

 

2004 – Granby, Colorado – My favorite one, by far…KILLDOZER!!! A small business owner who was squeezed by numerous residents and politicians, this man apparently never heard the saying, “You can’t fight City Hall.” BULLSHIT! This man very carefully and painstakingly spent a year or so crafting his revenge, which eventually arrived in the form of a large bulldozer that he converted into a tank. This contraption was armed and heavily armored with concrete and steel and would have needed a Hellfire missile or two to take it out. The perpetrator was clearly on a suicide mission, as he literally welded himself inside. After destroying numerous buildings and winning a duel with a scraper, his rampage literally ran out of steam when the Killdozer’s engine overheated and seized. Police surrounding the Killdozer heard a muffled gunshot inside, which was the man killing himself. Supposedly it took a day or two to retrieve his body, as the cops wisely expected booby traps.

Comments

Leroy Added Aug 12, 2018 - 12:07pm
I remember the night being in the back of a pickup when we water ballooned a small hick bar that had the door open.  Much to our excitement, we were in hot pursuit by two muscle cars.  Fortunately, our driver drove like a madman and knew the area well and was able to shake them.  Typical weekend trying to defy death.  Many didn't survive.  One weekend, four guys died joyriding.  I knew them all, although they were a year or two younger.  The girl survived.  It shocked the small community.
 
I saw the videos a couple of days ago of the teens riding subway cars.  That was a hell of a joy ride.
Michael B. Added Aug 12, 2018 - 1:48pm
Too funny Leroy! Where I was at, if we used water balloons as ammo, it meant we were out of other types, but as there was a large field and an even larger lemon orchard nearby, rocks and lemons were the usual projectiles, although we used other things, with eggs being the most common. Once we nailed an old asshole's camper truck with bags of paint thinner, which worked beyond our expectations. On another particularly memorable evening, we went cruising on Main Street armed with several large cans of pumpkin pie filling and a large spoon. Our first victim was a chick wearing white pants that was bent over talking to two assholes in a Corvette; a well-aimed and well-flung wad of pie filling made a direct hit to her crotch! We wound up being pursued by several different vehicles that night!
Jeff Michka Added Aug 12, 2018 - 5:08pm
What's water balloons have to do with the poor sod that stole the aircraft?  Seems childhood never ended for Michael B or Leroy.  Your manhoods and rightist creds would have been secured if you attacked some "communists".  The clown that augered the plane in just wanted to do himself in.  bad/sad enough.  If he'd wanted to take a lot of others, he could have dove into a baseball stadium with 50,000 people attending a concert a few miles north of where he flew.  Then I can imagine the rightist noise machine.  Instead of a stupid white guy at the controls, it would have instantly become "a crazed Arab or Hispanic in the cockpit," right?  Didn't know a Q400 could handle the amount of g buildup in his loops without folding the wings.
James Travil Added Aug 12, 2018 - 5:09pm
The DATs are always a riot, although I got to hand it to the killdozer guy, that took some crazed planning. There was an unrelated TV movie from the late 70's called Killdozer also, but, like I said, that's another story. 
Flying Junior Added Aug 12, 2018 - 9:56pm
I remember that Shawn Nelson and the tank rampage.  He was driving through neighborhoods crushing people's cars.  He must have been having the time of his life.  I'm pretty sure he was flying on more than just liquor.  According to his brother, he had some pretty good connections in the San Diego crank scene.  That fucker was probably zooming at 200mph in his head.  That kind of steel resolve that blatant criminals need to do their sneaky deeds definitely sharpens with the right drugs.  Most crankheads don't drink very much.  He must have been out of his mind.
 
Still, it begs the question, why?  What was going through his head when he did it?  What was driving his thinking when he planned it?  Crazy shit.  Once he got that thing started, I guess he just drove it right through the fence!
 
I never really got into theft.  But I got to drive a stolen Monte Carlo around Mount Soledad one time.  It handled quite nicely for a big car.  Lots of power.  I guess it was just fun knowing that it was a hot car.  Two weeks later, the cops lit up Freddie heading towards the high school.  He ditched the car and took off on foot.  He still got arrested.  All of the local cops knew him!
Dino Manalis Added Aug 13, 2018 - 8:28am
 Be careful!  Don't crash!  These planes should be guarded from troublemakers, including terrorists!
Benjamin Goldstein Added Aug 13, 2018 - 2:17pm
We all like to mow down some grannies from time to time.
- I kinda become Dino's evil alter ego.
Jeff Michka Added Aug 13, 2018 - 4:02pm
Will you post "evil" platitudes, BG?  LOL.  The  guy that swiped the plane had all the right security clearances to be where he was.  Call him an "inside crazy,' not terrorist.  The last time something like this happened, it was a "depressed" German at the controls of an A320, who flew it into the ground when the lefthand pilot took a whiz and was locked out of the cockpit.  Both incidents show it's hard to guard against or prevent.  Making people even fly nude post TSA checks won't help.  So it's either hide in a corner, never going anywhere, or buck up the ol courage and carry on.  "Stop him!! He's got a bomb hanging out of his asshole!!"  Not gonna worry about it.  Once again, the poor sod that augered in last weekend could have literally killed thousands had he intents outside of doing himself in.  Just could have flown North a short way and crashed the aircraft into Safeco Field.
Michael B. Added Aug 13, 2018 - 11:13pm
@ Bitchka - Funny, what the fuck does your idiotic comments have to do with this post? Leave it to your childish, predictable, stupid, and sorry ass to introduce some form of fucked-up politics where none existed before. I used to think you had dementia, but now I'm convinced that you have rabies. I'm sure I would have thrown bags of paint thinner at you, and much worse, not to mention your wife and kids, if you had any. Too bad that plane didn't crash right on top of your fucking head. Keep playing the same broken records, you broken polack dickhead, lol!
Michael B. Added Aug 13, 2018 - 11:13pm
@ James T. - Was that a masterpiece or what! It was an inspiration! Some people remain too stupid to realize that nothing fights back more ferociously than a cornered animal. Although I didn't read too into the background of it, Mr. Killdozer obviously felt that he was left with no alternatives. City Councils just about Anywhere, USA, are usually bought and paid for.
Michael B. Added Aug 13, 2018 - 11:13pm
@ FJ - Why would anyone do something like that? Like the Killdozer man, he had a general grudge against society and felt he had nothing to lose. As many, if not most people seem to be evil and selfish assholes who do nothing but fuck each other over, I can't really blame them. I'm glad to hear that you did a joyride though, as it bumped you up a couple of pegs in my estimation, as if you give a fuck, lol.
Michael B. Added Aug 13, 2018 - 11:13pm
@ Dino - Brilliant as per usual!
Michael B. Added Aug 13, 2018 - 11:14pm
@ BG - Hmmmm...all I can say is that my pedestrian skills took a big leap forward (sometimes literally) when I was in Germany. I was told that the Mercedes-Benz star on the hood was actually a gunsight of sorts for stupid and undisciplined pedestrians. Speaking of "joyflying", I forgot to mention the flight of Matthias Rust in 1987, when he landed the Cessna in Red Square and wound up shaking the entire Soviet military and political establishment to its core!
Jeffry Gilbert Added Aug 14, 2018 - 7:18am
Whom of us hasn't thought of breaking one off in the ass of his oppressors especially when they're acting under the color of office?
Stone-Eater Added Aug 14, 2018 - 7:27am
We don't have joyriding in Switzerland. Not enough space. A good long one would traverse the country...
Michael B. Added Aug 14, 2018 - 7:29am
@ Captain Gilbert - Fuckin'-A right! Now I'm scheming about how I can at least try to "get even" with the world at large, lol.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Aug 14, 2018 - 8:57am
Cry havoc and let slip the dogs
Jeff Michka Added Aug 14, 2018 - 3:42pm
Always nice to know the "New, "improved" Michael B is like the old, unimproved Michael B.  Is that what Janie finally told you?
Michael B. Added Aug 15, 2018 - 12:17am
@ Jeff M. - The last words that Janie said to me was "I'll never forget you. SMOOOOOCH!" LOL
Jeff Michka Added Aug 15, 2018 - 8:45am
Janie could have just thrown up.  Obviously, you conned her into thinking you's "changed."  No, you haven't.  Still looking for a place to park?
Leroy Added Aug 15, 2018 - 6:34pm
"We don't have joyriding in Switzerland. Not enough space. A good long one would traverse the country.."
 
I saw some crazy MF'ers on motorcycles zipping around and in between cars on curvaceous mountain roads.  I don't know it that quite meets the definition of joyriding, but they seemed to be having fun.
Pardero Added Aug 15, 2018 - 8:19pm
Michael B.
I always thought joyriding required a stolen vehicle. 
 
Once when my mother was lecturing me about obeying the law and following the rules, concerning something I had done, she said,"Your father had an appointment to Annapolis, but he and some friends stole a car and went joyriding. He went to prison instead of becoming an officer."
 
Several times, while mischief-making with friends, someone would shout, "Hey the keys are in it!" I was able to talk them out of it every time, as the memory of Mama's words came to me.
 
When I was 21, I had this Monte Carlo with a great paint job and stripes. Sportiest looking car I ever owned. It smoked a bit and used some oil, but a good car. This homely older gal, that I knew from parties and around town, asked me nicely if she could borrow it to visit a friend for a couple hours. I said ok, but you gotta put some gas in it. 
 
Two days later, I got worried, and called the cops. A day after that, the police told me where it was impounded, 150 miles away. 
Apparently, she had a nervous breakdown after appearing normal to me. The fee was more than I had paid for the car. Since it was not running, I abandoned it. The engine was siezed.
 
She was out on bail and came crying and begging for me to change the story a little bit, so she wouldn't go to prison. It had already gone to the grand jury. I felt sorry for her, and made a fool out of myself with the legal system, but kept her out of jail. Even my brothers thought I must have had something going with that crazy cow, to let her off. That was as bad as losing the car. 
 
I replaced it with a 72 LeMans that I liked even better. That LeMans would transport a group of us to the oilfields of western Oklahoma.
 
Janie Smith Added Aug 16, 2018 - 12:19pm
I have always been afraid of motorcycles.  When I was about 10 years old my mother took me to work with her.  She is a nurse and has worked the night shift all my life so much of the hospital was dimly lit as I followed her on her first rounds.  We came to one area of the hospital and I could hear a patient moaning and calling out for Spock and it was really loud and sad and scary.  My mom took me aside and told me his story.
 
Apparently, he was a young man, somewhere in his 20's, athletic and into martial arts and motorcycling.  He was in an accident while on his motorcycle but his helmet failed to protect him, it actually shattered and he was left with extream brain damage.  He died a few days later.  
 
I know people love motorcycles and I don't begrudge them for it but I will never get on one.
Janie Smith Added Aug 16, 2018 - 6:13pm
oh, and that was here in my hometown too...
Michael B. Added Aug 17, 2018 - 12:14am
@ Bitchka - Whatever, dude! Keep playing (out, I might add) your old, worn-out, scratched, and warped broken records, over and over again! In addition to rabies and palsy, insane jealousy obviously isn't helping your final years go any easier, lol.
Michael B. Added Aug 17, 2018 - 12:14am
@ Pardero - That story sounds remarkably like something I experienced, except I was the "voice of reason." One time, someone asked me if he should loan a certain woman his car, and I immediately asked him if he just had a lobotomy. To make a long story short, not only did his car wind up looking like it was in Baghdad for a couple of years, but he got several tickets for speeding and running red lights courtesy of the U.S. Mail.
Michael B. Added Aug 17, 2018 - 12:15am
@ Janie - Oh, and hello to you too Janie! After all that we've been through, that's the kind of greeting I get after such a long absence? Gawd, whatever....TANGO...There Are No Good Ones. Your timing was impeccable!
Janie Smith Added Aug 17, 2018 - 11:49am
Oh Michael, how thoughtless of me! Of course, I should have given you my e-hugs and e-kisses immediately!!  You and Jeffry and Jeanie, all my WB lovelies!!
wsucram15 Added Aug 17, 2018 - 7:04pm
Awww Janie..we missed you. hugs and kisses back.
MichaelB..I lived in a small town most of the year so joy riding was pretty much what there was to do.  I hated it though becuase I was always the one helping the person who drank too much or did too much drugs.   I never liked it much.
Now after 16..I was usually in Cleveland or with the band.
In the summer months, I went to NYC and walked so no joy rides, except for learning to drive my cousins Porsche. I also stayed in a place quite often called Sunset Island, NY (near Buffalo) and we boated to other islands and to bigger boats into Toronto. (no roads or cars there)   So I guess you could say we joy boated?  It was an adventure that place. Lots of stories there.
Leroy Added Aug 19, 2018 - 11:54am
How about joyunicorning?
Michael B. Added Aug 19, 2018 - 12:22pm
@ Janie - Whatever, Janie.
Michael B. Added Aug 19, 2018 - 12:24pm
@ Jeanne - Joyboating fully qualifies, lol, although that could have consequences as well. For example, someone I know dated a woman who was widowed by a drunken set of joyboaters that smashed into them and killed her husband and the father of her three kids.
Michael B. Added Aug 19, 2018 - 12:25pm
@ Leroy - Oh no! What's next? The obviously didn't see Animal House, lol.